Though beautiful and of noble birth, the legendary Elizabeth Bathory’s bloodthirsty desires made her one of the most disgruntled women in history. Considering Bathory’s notorious and malicious activities, she is also considered to be one of the earliest recorded vampires in history. Find out with us all the interesting facts about the famous Blood Countess.
Elizabeth Bathory was born in 1560 in Transylvania, Hungary. Born with a silver spoon, she came from a distinguished and respected family that held high social positions in Transylvania. At the age of 10 she was engaged to Count Ferencz Nadady, and five years later, in 1575, the young couple married. Because of her marital status, which outweighed her husband’s, Elizabeth not only retained her surname after marriage, but her husband also adopted the name. They lived in the Hungarian castle of Csejthe, although her husband, a soldier known as the Black Knight of Hungary, was rarely there when he went to Vienna to study or was employed on war fronts.
In her husband’s absence, Elizabeth remained in charge of the lands, a situation which only fueled her terrible lusts. Count Nadady is believed to have aided his wife’s impulses when he is said to have set up a torture chamber for her in the castle and zealously exchanged letters with her describing the atrocities being perpetrated on her victims. But after Nadady died in 1604, Elizabeth’s notoriety is said to have increased.
Bathory’s atrocities first began with torturing and killing peasant girls before their perverse madness eventually deteriorated to more gruesome horizons. Some of their torture techniques ranged from beating the peasants mercilessly, forcibly exposing them to bees after they had smeared them with honey, biting them off and feeding bits of their flesh, among other things.
Convinced that young girls would conserve bloodWith her looks and youthfulness, Bathory appeared in the blood of the girls she had tortured and killed. Although initially Elisabeth’s victims were only peasants, she would later recruit girls from noble families who believed they would come to learn etiquette from the Countess. As the mortality rate of her servants rose, Bathory became notorious in the area for her crimes, but was untouchable because of her family’s social standing.
It was not until 1610 that the long arm of the law caught up with Elizabeth. At the instigation of a Lutheran minister, the allegations reached the ears of King Mathias II of Hungary, who ordered the authorities to conduct a full investigation into Bathory’s alleged crimes. Authorities, led by Thurzo Gyorgy, launched an investigation. At the end of the year, Elizabeth and four of her accomplices were arrested.
With numerous charges against her, physical evidence and over 300 testimonies at the court hearing, Elizabeth and her cohorts were found guilty. While three of them were executed, one was sentenced to life imprisonment. Elizabeth was not executed but sentenced to solitary confinement in a corner of her castle and under the supervision of her family. She remained imprisoned in the castle for four years until she reportedly starved herself to death in August 1614.
Elizabeth Bathory children
Although Elizabeth was engaged to her husband Nadady from the age of 10, she was not married until she was 15 years old. According to unconfirmed reports, shortly before her marriage, Elizabeth had a child by a mistress (lower order or even a servant). However, it is believed that she got rid of the child in a sinister way.
After her marriage to Nadady, the couple was childless for about ten years, before finally having five children – three girls and two boys (Anna, Orsolya, Katalin, András and Pal) with her husband. However, they lost two of the children at a young age.
During the time that Nadady was away and Elizabeth assumed responsibility for the lands, she had several mistresses, although none of their affairs produced a child.
Other important facts
Over the years, many have argued that the Elizabeth Bathory chilling story is nothing more than a fictional story given more life by gothic horror fans. With so much written about the Blood Countess, the truth behind her story has been questioned in recent decades, with some historians viewing her as a victim of political treachery rather than a villain. While the truth can never be certain, here are some facts about the infamous Tigress of Csejthe.
1. Some of Elizabeth Bathory’s notable relatives are her uncle, the King of Hungary, and her cousin, Stephen Bathory, the Duke of Transylvania.
2. Bathory is believed to have tortured and murdered between 600 and 1000 people in his lifetime, a number terribly unprecedented in history.
3. The sensational tale of Elizabeth bathing in human blood was not originally part of her life story until a century after her death, when a French historian included it.
4. Although it’s been over four centuries, the horrific tale of Bathory has not only made its way into folklore but has also inspired several books and films, such as Dracula and many others.